Monday, October 13, 2008

Hillary Clinton: "Jobs, Baby, Jobs"

First image: Unemployment rate, 1993-2008. Second image: Job creation 1993-2008.

I am usually reluctant to wish something to happen because there is always the chance it might not happen. And then I feel stupid for wishing it. But in a rare fit of courage I put that worry aside, and throughout the primary campaign I wished two things would happen:

1. I wished the Democrats would win the general election. I have come to the conclusion that the Republican infrastructure -- no matter which individual the party nominated -- is not (in its current form) fit to govern the country. The national GOP is characterized by too much Karl Rove, too much political maneuvering, and too little concern given to competent governance. And,

2. I wished that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee and the next president. I admired Barack Obama's character from the beginning. Even more, I appreciated his 'we are not red states and blue states, we are the United States' centrism. I still do, actually. But I supported Hillary Clinton for her economics knowledge. In fact, her husband's record on the economy is the only actual evidence that anybody had to go on when trying to choose between Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama. To go with Sen. Obama, hope is not simply a campaign bumper sticker, you really are hoping he knows what he is doing. To go with Sen. Clinton, one actually had a record to go on. As a sucker for data and evidence, Clinton was my choice.

Look at the data-images above. They show the drastic difference in jobs and unemployment between the 1990s and 2000s. Bill Clinton was president from 1993-2001. The unemployment rate was above 7 percent when he got in, and just above 4 percent when he got out, a drop of about 3 percent. George W. Bush has been president from 2001 until now. The unemployment rate was just above 4 percent when he got in, and is now above 6 percent, an increase of just about 2 percent.

For her part, Sen. Clinton, it is being reported, has struck up a chant as she goes about the duty of campaigning for Sen. Obama: "Jobs, baby, jobs!" To me this is good economics and good politics. I will be surprised if, during Wednesday's debate, we don't hear statistic after statistic about job creation and unemployment rates from Sen. Obama. Here's the AP report:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton offered a Democratic rejoinder to the Republican chant of "drill, baby, drill." Said the one-time presidential candidate: "Jobs, baby, jobs."

Campaigning for her once bitter rival Barack Obama in Pennsylvania, the New York senator told about 1,500 people at an historic farm in suburban Horsham, that her husband's administration produced a balanced budget and a surplus.

"Now, eight short years later, we've had to add a digit to the debt clock," she said, referring to the digital sign in New York City that tracks the national debt.

Clinton is trying to use her popularity in places like northeast Philadelphia and the city's suburbs to help Obama beat Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain in this battleground state. She did well in both areas in Pennsylvania's Democratic primary six months ago, when she beat the Illinois senator by 10 percentage points.

At the Republican National Convention and various GOP rallies, an oft-repeated chant was "drill, baby, drill," a plea for more oil drilling. McCain and GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin back more offshore oil drilling; Palin favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Clinton said Democrats have a better answer: "Jobs, baby, jobs."


No comments: